Purchased a 2001 EV Westy that had been sitting parked for a few years, original owner had heard a noise he diagnosed as a timing chain and never got around to repair after hearing potential cost.
Should mention this isn't my first Eurovan, but first VR6.
So as not to potentially cause any more damage, I decided to start inspecting engine before trying to start it.
Borescope revealed no signs of contact between valves and pistons, and engine bars over smoothly. Did notice one of the spark plug tube seals had given way and was allowing oil to pool at plug. After pulling valve cover, found significant carbon sludge everywhere. Van does have over 200k, but I have receipts for regular oil changes - van came with about an inch thick service binder.
I am contemplating whether it is worth dropping the transmission to inspect lower timing components (cams appear timed correctly to one another at least) or due to the sludge if it might be worth simply finding another 24v longblock (maybe BDF instead will have had an easier life and less change of sludge) and swapping it in.
Assuming I can find a lower mile longblock for about the same cost as the timing chains and guides - does that make the most sense? It seems like swinging the engine and trans together might be about the same amount of work as tilting the engine while supporting to get the transmission off.